• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

Action: 1.25 on low E and 1.0 on high E, too much to ask?

Megadebt

Experienced
Is setting the action at the 12th fret to 1.25 on low E and 1.0 on high E too low or too much to ask?

What do you think? I'm new to all this.
 

fcs101

Fractal Fanatic
CORRECTION: I originally posted a recommendation for values at the 12th fret for determining bridge height. My apologies for any confusion; I've deleted it.

For action use 0.12" on both high and low E. Capo the first fret, press at the 15th fret, and use a feeler gauge to measure relief at the 8th fret.
 
Last edited:

TSJMajesty

Fractal Fanatic
Imo, it depends on how you bend strings. Once I changed my technique a bit, to the point of not allowing the adjacent string to be pushed with my finger, but instead, having it pushed down onto the fret, I set my action as low as possible, after I set my neck relief almost flat. Iow, with a capo @ 1, then holding the strings against the 24th fret, there's just the tiniest bit of relief @ 12. Just enough that it's there. After that, I just set the action as far down as I can, w/o any string buzz being heard amplified (you can hear it acoustically, but that doesn't matter.)

I set it that way to make fast licks easier to play. I'd say my action is about 1/16", maybe slightly less (by eye.)
 

fcs101

Fractal Fanatic
Is setting the action at the 12th fret to 1.25 on low E and 1.0 on high E too low or too much to ask?

What do you think? I'm new to all this.
Out of curiosity, has this guitar been fully set up? If not, I'd recommend doing a full set up. What you'll find is that one thing affects another so there's a process to follow.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
Imo, it depends on how you bend strings. Once I changed my technique a bit, to the point of not allowing the adjacent string to be pushed with my finger, but instead, having it pushed down onto the fret, I set my action as low as possible, after I set my neck relief almost flat. Iow, with a capo @ 1, then holding the strings against the 24th fret, there's just the tiniest bit of relief @ 12. Just enough that it's there. After that, I just set the action as far down as I can, w/o any string buzz being heard amplified (you can hear it acoustically, but that doesn't matter.)

I set it that way to make fast licks easier to play. I'd say my action is about 1/16", maybe slightly less (by eye.)
I haven't measured with rulers and feeler gauges in years.

I set the truss rod for almost straight - roughly 0.003" to 0.005" relief when fretting at 1st and whichever fret is where the neck joins the body and measuring at the middle. When you tap the string in the middle, there is a particular sound the string makes that I've learned to recognize which indicates the right amount of relief. Too much relief, and it sounds clear. The 'Goldilocks zone' is when it starts to sound slightly flammed from hitting the other frets when the tap starts the shock wave down the string.

Once that is working, I lower the saddles until it just starts to buzz, then go back up a quarter turn....
 

JoKeR III

Fractal Fanatic
It's not too much to ask but will likely require a thorough fret level job, with a bit of fall off, if the expectation is for little to no fret buzz. I have an Ibanez JS2400 that I achieved the same measurements with no fret buzz so it is very possible. I've seen lower but required a much lighter touch than I am capable of without a lot of practice.
 

Andy Eagle

Fractal Fanatic
On a perfect neck with almost no relief and it in the exact right spot this is possible BUT make it 1.25~1.5mm and it will be just as easy to play and sound better because the lower strings in particular need space to vibrate . Over this it just gets harder to play. You still need a perfect neck to get this to work or you start to cut in to the clearances needed for the best tone.
 

fcs101

Fractal Fanatic
I'll just throw this out there. Everyone so far has mentioned setting the neck perfectly straight That'll put you in one of two situations: 1. if you set the action low, you'll get buzz, or 2. you'll have very high action to get rid of the buzz.

Some neck relief is actually desired, if you want the best of both options.

Here's a quote from Sweetwater's setup advice: "Action and relief go hand in hand and your guitar will play its best when they are both set properly."

They won't tell you where to set the relief (bow), because that's up to you, just be aware of the relationship.
 

Andy Eagle

Fractal Fanatic
I'll just throw this out there. Everyone so far has mentioned setting the neck perfectly straight That'll put you in one of two situations: 1. if you set the action low, you'll get buzz, or 2. you'll have very high action to get rid of the buzz.

Some neck relief is actually desired, if you want the best of both options.

Here's a quote from Sweetwater's setup advice: "Action and relief go hand in hand and your guitar will play its best when they are both set properly."

They won't tell you where to set the relief (bow), because that's up to you, just be aware of the relationship.
Action does not go hand in hand with relief. The amount a relief that works when CAD modelled is almost nothing and practical identical across a range of actions and string gauges . Too much is seriously detrimental to the next fret clearance at the upper end of the neck at the same measured action. The ONLY time a lot of relief works is if you have a sledge hammer right hand and don't play above the 7th fret but this is effectively the same as high action and the right (almost nothing ) relief. This would at least work if you did play the upper register .
As for the amount of relief being up to you. This statement is only true if you consider worse performance a desirable option. I make all these statements on the assumption that you have your same (preferred) action across the range of settings. The actual best is not a matter of opinion it is the setting that give the most next fret clearance across the majority of the neck when measured with the same 12th fret action and it comes out at less than half the thickness of your high E .
 

Andy Eagle

Fractal Fanatic
Once you have the relief right and the nut cut properly you can set the action according to how hard you hit the strings and this will govern your optimum action. If you hit too hard the string will just slap back on the next fret loosing most of the energy before it can ring out. The right relief is about no fret buzz not percussive slap back which is a result of hitting the string with too much amplitude for the available clearance.
 

Andy Eagle

Fractal Fanatic
It is also about diminishing returns, once you get low enough to play easily anything lower just reduces the dynamic range available and can be detrimental to your tone if you pick harder than the available amplitude.
 

fcs101

Fractal Fanatic
Action does not go hand in hand with relief.
Action absolutely goes hand-in-hand with relief. Why do you think it's an "adjustable" truss rod.

If we wanted a straight neck, just put in a non-adjustable rod. That thing would never move.

Anyway, there are plenty of references to contradict you. Sweetwater is one which is readily accessible and respected. Lots of others out there.
 
Last edited:

TSJMajesty

Fractal Fanatic
Everyone so far has mentioned setting the neck perfectly straight
I said almost flat. I specifically do this because, I want just a touch of relief, and, if you go for "perfectly straight," you won't know if you've gone too far by just using the strings as your gauge. You'd need a straightedge, and I don't want to want to deal with that.
Action absolutely goes hand-in-hand with relief. Why do you think it's a "adjustable" truss rod.

If we wanted a straight neck, just put in a non-adjustable rod. That thing would never move.
It's an adjustable trus rod so you have a means for countering what temperature & humidity do to a neck. You cannot make a long, slender piece of wood never move, even if you built it from laminates.
 

Andy Eagle

Fractal Fanatic
Action absolutely goes hand-in-hand with relief. Why do you think it's a "adjustable" truss rod.

If we wanted a straight neck, just put in a non-adjustable rod. That thing would never move.

Anyway, there are plenty of references to contradict you. Sweetwater is one which is readily accessible and respected. Lots of others out there.
Mine is 30 years a repair tech and experience not to mention CAD modelling if you care to produce actual evidence . And the best of the best out there agree with me. I would post to the John Suhr set up guide I have linked in the past . Your other point has been addressed by TSJMajesty above.
Some companies have done the non adjustable neck very well Vigier and Steinberger for a start and both of these are some of the best playing necks out there. I have 3vintage Steinbergers and a Vigier myself .
 

fcs101

Fractal Fanatic
And the best of the best out there agree with me.
These vague comments are the mark of someone who is not in a defensible position.

True, some have tried set necks and guess what? They didn't take off. The fact that you like them is really only indicative that you like a flat neck.
 

fcs101

Fractal Fanatic
I said almost flat.
It's an adjustable trus rod so you have a means for countering what temperature & humidity do to a neck. You cannot make a long, slender piece of wood never move, even if you built it from laminates.
Sorry, I misunderstood you.

Yes, the truss rod does allow for changes in the neck due to temp/humidity. However, the neck is flexible to allow for personal preference in the first place. Classical guitars don't even have a truss rod. You absolutely can design a neck that will not warp or bend, it's been a bit but I think there are some carbon fiber designs out there.
 

Andy Eagle

Fractal Fanatic
These vague comments are the mark of someone who is not in a defensible position.

True, some have tried set necks and guess what? They didn't take off. The fact that you like them is really only indicative that you like a flat neck.
BS. The reason they didn't take off is because of the difficulty of actually making a neck that can do this and the cost.
 
Top Bottom